The district administration of Yavatmal in Maharashtra on Wednesday declared 68 villages affected by water scarcity, PTI reported. The district collector also imposed restrictions on the use of water resources in these villages, unidentified officials told the news agency.
The district received only 77.15% of the average rainfall this monsoon. Kalamb tehsil in Yavatmal recorded the lowest rainfall among these. Maharashtra had declared drought in 2014 and 2015.
The announcement comes a day after the Maharashtra government declared a “drought-like situation” in 180 tehsils in the state. There are 350 tehsils in the state. The government extended subsidies in agriculture, revenue, power and education sectors to the villagers.
“The district administrations have been directed to start the relief process with immediate effect,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “Tankers would be deployed, as per the requirement. School and college fees of students would be waived. Concessions would be given on electricity bills and crop loans recovery have been stayed.”
The tehsils have reported poor rain and low agriculture production – two parameters that are considered in order to declare drought, The Indian Express reported.
According to a report submitted by the water supply and sanitation department, 11,487 villages in 167 tehsils were facing scarcity, The Telegraph reported. Forty tehsils in Marathwada and 17 in Vidarbha recorded rainfall deficit of between 30% and 50%.
“We will soon pass a government resolution to pave the way for various measures to meet the situation. A central government team would also visit the tehsils soon,” Fadnavis said.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday had asked the state government to declare drought in Maharashtra as many parts are facing severe water scarcity, PTI reported. He also alleged that the central government did not seem to be coming forward to help Maharashtra. “I had visited some villages and districts. They need immediate intervention of the state to face the situation,” he said.